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Love & Radishes

In last week’s blog post, When People Are Mean, I talked about my experience with a bully in high school, and the radical shift that occurred when I looked beyond the tough mask of her cruel actions and saw her deep unhappiness inside.

Pausing and looking from a different angle can be a game changer. It allows us to choose how we interpret the actions of others and take control of how we feel, rather than letting their behavior control us.

Pausing and looking from a different angle allows us to choose how we feel, rather than letting the negative behavior of other people control us.

I am so grateful that I got a glimpse of this truth at such a young age.

But when I got married, I must have forgotten 😉

In my defense, he KNOWS I love radishes. And when I say I love radishes, I mean I would trade a huge bowl of ice cream or a bag of chips for just. one. radish.

Like everyone else, I’m trying to limit my shopping trips during the pandemic, so I don’t get my radish fix nearly often enough.

Yesterday, my amazing mother in law gave us EIGHT radishes. It was like Christmas morning! I tore one off the bunch, washed it and slowly savored every bite, leaving the other seven to enjoy over the next few days… and maybe share a couple too 😉 (Yes, they were meant for the entire family but whatever. details… details…)

My husband likes radishes, but he doesn’t LOVE them. To him they are just another vegetable like cucumbers or peppers, which we have a TON of right now. He is, however, well aware of my radish obsession. (This is an important point. Bear with me.)

This morning, when I came downstairs, I noticed he had already packed his lunch for work. And in his lunchbox I saw….

Wait for it…

FIVE radishes! FIVE!

Normally this would have me on my phone googling “inexpensive divorce attorneys” (Kidding! Kind of.) or at least making a comment about how radishes are meant to be savored, one, MAYBE two at a time. And then laying on the guilt about how his taking FIVE (when he doesn’t LOVE them like I do) only left me two. Waaaahhhhhhh!!!

But I said nothing. Instead, I took a deep breath and considered this-

Was his taking the radishes what was upsetting me? Or was it the story I was telling myself about his taking the radishes that was upsetting me?

Was it his actions, or the story I was telling myself about his actions that was really upsetting me?

That story went something like this – “He KNOWS how much I love radishes! How could he be so selfish?! And how can he not see that they are a delicacy, not something to be scarfed down five at a time! It’s bad enough my teenage boys eat all my York peppermint patties, now my husband is eating my radishes! These three men take and take until there’s nothing left for me! With everything I do for them?!” (Quarantine life might be exacerbating this a tiny bit.)

Yes, I realize how silly this is, and that’s my point.

Like I said earlier, a lot of the time it’s not what’s actually happening that’s causing us pain. It’s OUR INTERPRETATION of what’s happening.

It’s not what’s actually happening that’s causing us pain. It’s OUR INTERPRETATION of what’s happening.

That distinction is INSANELY EMPOWERING!

What it means is that WE HAVE CONTROL over how we feel about the actions of others. We can choose to pause and create a different story, one that doesn’t upset us.

Does the fact that he ate the radishes change? No.

Does the fact that the girl bullied me change? No.

What matters is that I GET TO CHOOSE whether to learn from her bullying and extend that wisdom to the rest of my life… or carry that heavy baggage of injustice around as part of my life story that holds me back forever.

I get to choose whether to look at the silly radish situation as an opportunity for me to quietly love my husband more, by allowing something I love to nourish him… OR silently resenting him for taking so much of something I love.

I’m out five radishes either way.

But by choosing to see through a loving lens, what I’m NOT out is minutes, possibly hours of my day and all the lost energy to my resentments.

And here’s the best part-

By taking back the time we spend reliving our injustices or replaying our resentments, we have that much more time, energy and mental power to focus on making our dreams come true!

Our energy is focused on what helps us grow, rather than what's holding us back.

Can you feel all the potential in that? As we take back our power, one by one we get to watch the limits fall away… and each time it gets easier and easier until we finally see our limitlessness.

And THAT a beautiful thing to see.

Xx Jen

(I’m off to the store to buy more radishes now.)

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